QUESTION #2: Why is it so difficult to get things done in Washington, DC?
Senator Tom Coburn:
“I actually address this in the book. What we’re experiencing today is factionalization. And our founders were really worried about that; that factions would soon control, and that you would have in-fighting among factions. Rather than “out of many, one,” you would see one divided into many, the opposite of what our founders intended, on the basis of factions.
And so, the other reason that I think we’re where we are is, with the 17th Amendment we gave up the right of the states’ legislatures to control the Senate of the United States. Remember, they were appointed by the state legislatures. So, therefore, the states have more power to determine.
So, if somebody was voting to give up states’ rights, they’d get their nomination jerked and they’d get pulled back to Oklahoma, and say, “We’re going to put somebody up there that’s going to protect our rights.” But what we’ve done with the 17th Amendment is eliminate the ability to have better control over the federal government, and it’s one weakness that I see.
But the other thing that’s going on is we have become very immature because our knowledge is lacking in terms of a history of the politics of our country. You have very few statesmen; you have some, but you have very few as a percentage of those in those bodies. And they’re grounded out by the 24-7 news cycle that’s based on factionalization.
The division, if you think about it for a minute, what’s happened to our country is the Supreme Court has divided us. They’ve made decisions that, in fact, the states should have been making. And with that has come division and then all the rest that we see.”
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